Police confirm officers are forced to rely on foodbanks after having 'just pounds left'
Sussex Police have confirmed that some officers have been forced to rely on foodbanks after having “just pounds left at the end of the month”.
The Argus this week reported how police officers are struggling with finances.
Andy Standing, branch secretary for the Police Federation and a detective inspector for Sussex Police, described how officers across the country are “sleeping in cars and vans” and “going to foodbanks to keep going”.
And now Sussex Police have confirmed that some officers are struggling.
A spokesman told The Argus: “Sussex Police understands some officers and staff have relied on food vouchers via the Sussex Police Charitable Trust, as well as foodbanks.
“Police officers and staff carry out extraordinary work every day of the year, and it is right that they will continue to be supported by the force should they find themselves in a difficult situation.”
Sussex Police said it was “not aware” of any staff sleeping in their cars.
Former Sussex chief superintendent Kevin Moore described the situation faced by rookie officers as “scandalous”.
He said: “No one joins the police to earn lots – but police salaries shouldn’t leave officers unable to pay the bills.”
Police officers have faced a 13 per cent real terms pay cut between 2009 to 2021, the latest available data – although the government announced a £1,900 salary increase for all officers which came into force last month.
Sussex Police raised the South East allowance for Sussex Police officers to the maximum £2,000 a year – taking the total increase in all officers’ pay to £2,400.
The force also said it has a range of support available to all staff, including support for mental health and trauma, multifaith chaplaincy and staff support groups, as well as its own charity trust.
Katy Bourne, Sussex police and crime commissioner, said the force would “step in” with support should any Sussex Police officer face financial difficulties.
She said: “With the cost of living rising we know that many people across the country, including police officers, are having to make difficult and careful financial decisions.
"Officers often deal with very challenging experiences and have every right to be provided with resources to best look after their mental, physical and financial health.
“Here in Sussex, the force have an extensive range of initiatives and specially trained advisors who ensure officers have access to the help they need to look after themselves.”
The PCC says she’s got an “open door for the Police Federation and will always do whatever is possible to help officers.”
The minimum salary for a PC is £23,556.
The Police Federation was undertaking a pay and morale survey about pay and conditions which closed on Monday.
It is calling for the government to “address the dire cost-of-living situation” by improving pay for police officers.
National chairman Steve Hartshorn said: “The National Board and local branches are working incredibly hard behind the scenes to engage with the government, MPs and key stakeholders to ensure the experiences of our colleagues are heard.”